ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is searching for a suspect who hit a woman with a firearm and robbed her in the Central West End.

Charlie Walsh said he always takes extra safety precautions while walking in and around Forest Park. He was surprised to find out a 62-year-old woman was robbed and struck by a firearm just outside Forest Park on Thursday before 4 p.m. Walsh said he frequently walks that path.

“I feel very safe here, but something has to be done. You can’t be here all the time, but it’s not good,” he said. “I’m here three times a week, walking, I can’t believe it.”

Police said the attack happened on Lindell Boulevard between DeBaliviere Avenue and Union Boulevard.

Investigators said the victim was walking eastbound when the suspect approached her from behind and demanded she hand over her purse. When she turned around, the suspect was pointing a gun at her.

However, she refused, and the police said the suspect hit her in the head with the pistol, causing her to fall to the ground. The suspect fled the scene with her purse and phone.

“It makes it hard for citizens here in St. Louis to walk the area with people getting robbed,” said Keisha Woods.

“It’s shocking to hear. I walk here every day, I have lived 20 years in the neighborhood,” said Kasia Stockie. “I want to think it’s safe, it’s in my backyard.”

Authorities said the victim was transported to a nearby hospital and will be recovering.

Meanwhile, as the suspect remains at large, police encouraged anyone with information to contact CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS (8477).